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Aerosmith's Steven Tyler enters rehab

December 23, 2009 |  8:54 am

Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler has entered a rehabilitation facility to treat an addiction to painkillers his doctor says he has taken to deal with a decade of injuries. In a statement issued Tuesday, the singer said he hopes to quickly rejoin the band, an effort to quell recent reports that the group’s other members were considering hiring a replacement should he decide to take an extended break from his duties fronting the long-running hard-rock outfit.

“Over the past 10 years, Steven Tyler has suffered orthopedic injuries and has been in severe chronic pain which will require further surgeries on his knees and feet,” said Dr. Brian McKeon, who has been treating Tyler at New England Baptist Hospital. “Steven's pain has progressed. The balance between managing his pain and avoiding addiction is tenuous and difficult, and his bravery in persevering through rigorous touring is admirable.”

Tyler broke his shoulder in a fall from the stage while the band was playing in South Dakota in August, forcing the group to cancel the rest of its summer tour with ZZ Top. In the wake of that injury and his physical therapy, reports surfaced that he was planning to take a two-year-hiatus from Aerosmith “to work on the brand of myself -- Brand Tyler.”

In response, Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer, while at a signing last month for his book “Hit Hard,” said the rest of the group would start auditioning singers should that happen. “I support him. I will always love him,” Kramer said, “but we want to play too. I can’t sit around for two years and not play my drums -- or not function as a band.”

Rolling Stone today quoted Tyler distancing himself from the hiatus talk: “I also wish to set the record straight and say that I have read reports of a rumored two-year hiatus and want to be clear that this is completely false and I will enthusiastically be writing, recording and performing with Aerosmith as soon as things are handled.”

Tuesday’s statement, released by Tyler's management company, also included words from Tyler’s daughter, actress Liv Tyler, saying: “My family and I are in complete support of my dad’s decision to seek treatment. He is a courageous man. We love him and are so proud that he is getting help to balance his pain management, not just for himself but for his family, friends and fans.”

-- Randy Lewis